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Gyale, Chanderpaul steadied West Indies innings

Written by: Staff
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St John's, Antigua, June 6 (UNI) Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul steadied West Indies innings in the second session of final day to raise hopes of saving the match.

West Indies went to lunch on 72 for 3 and Gayle and Chanderpaul ensured that there were no further losses in the next session.

At tea, the hosts were 158 for 3. Gayle continued to play his controlled knock and went to tea at 59 notout, while Chanderpaul played some attacking shots to remain unbeaten on 47.

Chanderpaul gave a chance when immediately after the lunch he edged a Sreesanth.

Chanderpaul responded to that with three fours off a Sreesanth over. He was not subdued by the situation and looked prepared to take chances. Whenever young Indian seamers provided him with shorter stuffs, he cut and pulled fearlessly to find boundaries, and when offered full lengths, Chanderpaul went for wonderful cover drives.

Chris Gayle on the other hand continued his un-characteristic innings and was happy to drop anchor. He reached the second fifty of the match in the second session. Gayle celebrated this with a huge six over long on off Kumble, but attacking shots like this were few and far between in this innings of his. In fact Gayle had taken 175 balls for his 59 and was scoring at a rate of one run every third ball.

Indian skipper tried everything but the seamres lacked the zing they showed in the first session. VRV wasn't in rhythm and bowled a few no balls. Munaf was also warned by umpires not to run on the pitch.

Kumble stopped run from one end but India failed to get wickets they were looking in the second session so as to force victory.

Earlier, India claimed three West Indies wicket in 30 minutes before lunch to press for win in the last day of the first Test here.

Anil Kumble broke the solid opening partnership of 67 and then Sreesanth claimed vital wickets of man-in-form Ramnaresh Sarwan and skipper Brian Lara as West Indies went to Lunch at 72 for three.

West Indies need another 320 runs with 7 wickets remaining.

The day began in dour note for India as the West Indies openers looked under clear instructions to play for time. Usually attacking batsman Chris Gayle went out of his way to block the balls rather than the slogs that he dished out in the first innings. Gayle was circumspect to an extent that at one point during the first hour's play, he scored just one run of 27 balls.

He survived a loud appeal by Munaf Patel early on to settle to sedate batting.

Sreesanth also bowled a fine spell out side the off stump that consistently questioned the guiles of Gayle and Ganga. Sreesanth had his in-swingers that missed the outside edge of the openers more than once.

Darren Ganga was more fluent at the other end and he consistently out-scored Gayle.

West Indies seemed to cruise safely to lunch when Anil Kumble struck the first blow.

Kumble had Ganga in all sorts of trouble all through. He tossed on up to him at middle and leg stump. Ganga tried to push at it, but he only managed an inside edge that was lapped up by Yuvraj Singh at short leg. Ganga departed for 36 and West Indies lost their first wicket at 67.

Sreesanth who had struggled in the first wicket knew his joy no bounds when he got rid of man in form Ramnaresh Sarwan only after one run was added to West Indies total. Sarwan slashed at an away going delivery and Kumble at gully made no mistake.

The biggest success for India came one ball before lunch when Sreesanth trapped Lara LBW for nought. Umpire Asad Rauf took some time to decide and after a loud appeal decided that the ball was on its way to the stumps.

West Indies were 72 for three. Gayle was batting on 28 of 94 balls. India has never won a Test match in Antigua, all three that they played resulted in draw.

UNI XC SK VP0200

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